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When You Have No Job Prospects

by Brad Karsh, President, JobBound and Courtney Pike, Director of Operations, JobBound

Holding a diploma in your hand is exciting, but it’s always more reassuring if you have a job offer in the other hand.

If you find yourself without a job upon graduation, you first want to calm your breathing, stop those crazy visions of lifelong unemployment, and refrain from the tendency to PANIC. With loans and new bills hanging over your head, your first instinct is to jump into anything that offers a paycheck. All of a sudden, wearing a chicken suit on the side of the road doesn’t sound so horrible. Jumping into a temporary job is not your best option though. If you get an “in-between” job, it will be more difficult to make calls, schedule interviews, and fully dedicate yourself to the job search.

Finding a job is a full-time job, and you need to dedicate seven to eight hours each day to the job search. Now that you don’t have to worry about school, you can concentrate on your search. A typical day may look similar to this:

8:00am Follow up with companies that interviewed you. Their needs may have changed.
9:00am Visit your career center to focus on job search strategies and pinpoint job leads
11:00am Establish a contact networking list – friends, family, neighbors, professors, etc. Begin calling and reaching out to let them know about your job search
2:00pm Go on an informational interview at a company that interests you
4:00pm Write thank you notes or follow up emails to those you contacted today
5:00pm Write a to-do list for the next day

Getting a job isn’t easy, but if you really focus your time and energy, you will be successful. Here are a few more tips to help guide you:

1. Visit your career center.
Helping you find a job is part of the career center’s job. Employers often publicize their last minute openings through universities, so this would be the best place to begin your search. Just because you have officially graduated, it doesn’t mean your career center can’t be of service!

2. Reevaluate your job search tools and techniques.

  • If you haven’t received an offer yet, you need to take a serious look at your job search tools. What areas can be improved?
  • Is your resume the absolute best that it can be?
  • Have your resume proofread by at least three people.
  • Are you acing your interviews?
  • Conduct a few mock interviews to practice answers to the most common interview questions.
  • Are you blasting your resume to job boards without following up?
  • Start recording all your calls and contacts in an Excel worksheet so you can keep tabs on follow up calls and emails.
  • Are you networking?
  • Craft a 30-second elevator pitch that you can use with your networks to let them know what type of position you are seeking.

3. Accept an internship.
Some internships are paid, but even if they are not, they often provide more potential than temporary jobs. For some competitive fields, an internship is an excellent way to get your foot in the door at a great company. If you prove yourself, then the company will extend a full-time offer when the internship is complete. Research shows that 85% of companies use internships to recruit for their full-time workforces!

4. Stay positive.
You will be rejected. You will hear “no.” Some people may not return your calls or emails, but that is part of the game. Hang in there, stay focused, and follow our tips, and you will have a job offer soon. Good luck!

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